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Kids Going to College: A Survival Guide for Parents

If you're planning to send your kid to college with an amount of money that's supposed to last them all semester, show them how they can make the cash stretch out for as long as possible to cover all their necessities. And warn them what could happen if they squander it away too soon. Traveling always helps to enrich the mind, but a road trip is truly something else—with a lot of the best conversations, jokes and memories all happening inside the car. This will let your teen know he or she has other options in the evenings or weekends besides partying.

Sam Smith - Baby, You Make Me Crazy (Acoustic)

Educate your kid on your family's ethnic or religious roots by visiting museums for relevant exhibits, watching movies or attending cultural events that celebrate your heritage. They'll thank you for this if they end up landing a part-time job while they're in college and want to do direct deposit.

My message to the parents who can't let their children go: grow up

Even better, teach them the value of money and the dangers of credit cards and also send them some cash when you're feeling particularly generous. Giving your teen a checking account also means your teen will be getting a debit card, so he won't have to carry cash all the time. A lot of things can go wrong in college, and you don't want your teen to go into it misinformed or worse—completely clueless. Discuss the consequences if they party too hard, skip class, etc. Yes, it's something every family seems to do—but that's also exactly why you should be doing it too.

Disney World and Disneyland are magical places filled with fun rides, parades and chances to see and interact with some awesome characters. Why deprive your kid of meeting Mickey and Minnie or taking a family photo in front of the iconic Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty's Castle? Sure, you may already have a ton of pics together on your cell or on Facebook, but nothing beats the charm of an old-fashioned, high-quality, printed photo. Set up a shoot with a professional photographer or a friend who's super talented at taking photos and share the prints.

You can hang them up at your desk at work and your kid can hang them up in their dorm. Their future roommates will thank you! Go over how they can refine their cleaning skills by "practicing" at home. Chances are, your teen might end up dating in college and go through some heartbreak, but you're not going to be as nearby as you usually are to help them get through it.

Teach him or her how to cope in advance, and what to expect while dating and going to school at that age. And if you haven't already, don't forget to go over what safe sex and consent really mean. With your guidance, your teen will be able to successfully deal with any dating troubles that come her way.

You Can't Tell me What to Do - How to Parent Teenagers

If you live in the countryside or suburbs but your child is going to school in a big city, this is more crucial. A trip to the city exposes your teen to a faster-paced lifestyle and gives them opportunities to see what it's really like to commute via bus, light rail, train, etc.

But on the bright side, if your kid doesn't bring his car to school, he'll have an idea on how to get around his campus town and get back home on his own—to see you, of course. This is one of those skills that's best taught sooner than later, so they can make your to-do list lighter.

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  • 3. Bring them to work with you—and put them to work..
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You don't want your teen to be that kid whose one red sock leaves his entire laundry pile pink. While you're at it, go over the basics on why it's important to look presentable, even for that 8 a. And for when the campus laundromat's closed, teach them how to wash their clothes by hand—the correct way.

2. Teach them to cook.

It could be on a subject you're both interested in and are complete novices at, like doing a type of martial arts or craft. The great part is you can help each other if either of you struggle, and you both learn a new skill—or both hilariously fail at it. The summer before they graduate, give them a taste of freedom by letting them travel with their pals. They're going to be independent very soon, so they might as well get used to it. In the process, guide them on how to make travel arrangements and what factors to consider when choosing a destination. Your teen will be so excited to travel with her friends—and so grateful that you're giving her permission.

Even if your kid doesn't seem particularly sentimental, all children really need to hear this. Don't miss a chance to remind them how much they mean to you, and how special they are. Most kids change majors numerous times. Pick a university with lots of choices and classes that are transferable from one major to another. It is the currency of civilization and will always serve your child well.

Grade Levels

The job market is cyclical and your child should follow his passion. They need to decide what their passion is. Seek out and demand help from the college. Listen a lot, ask questions, and do not lecture though that can be hard. It is the one thing that can never be taken away from them.